Sacramento area businessmen should take heart from the collective bargaining in Wisconsin while Sacramento government workers should dread it. No collective bargaining going on in Wisconsin? Governor Scott Walker has been engaging quite effectively in it, having already proven grossly false claims by fellow republicans that unions have “a machine gun” at the heads of officials in labor negotiations. Quite the contrary, the firepower seems clearly in the hands of the government. For in a sufficiently tough economy, a government willing to act with resolve and exert substantial pressure can pretty much have its way. As Governor Walker himself has amply demonstrated in Wisconsin.
That’s what’s so puzzling about Walker’s current stance. Given the overwhelming success of his brief “negotiations” with the unions, it’s amazing he doesn’t embrace the process as a solution to all his budget ills. Didn’t anyone in his office bother to do the history? Or the math? Just weeks after passage of his tax cuts for his business supporters, the governor proposed lowering state contributions to state employee benefits by a roughly similar amount. To help control the deficit, he said. Which had by then been exacerbated by the tax cuts he just passed. Of course he failed to link the two together, but dollars being dollars they are inexorably linked. Then he proposed severely limiting the unions as well as their right to collective bargaining. Now THAT was pressure. Ruthless, maybe, and borderline immoral, but pressure nonetheless. Pressure to an art form. So what if it tramples on the “freedoms” he gives lip service to and put his state’s political apparatus and workforce into chaos? What does Walker care? He works for the Koch brothers anyway. And though it wasn’t something he ran on or was elected to do, his threat to destroy the unions was without question an effective negotiating ploy. Sure enough, less than a week after the governor’s bill was introduced, the unions capitulated on every financial concession. They agreed to in effect finance out of their own pockets the governor’s tax breaks for his wealthy business allies. Who would have thought they’d agree to THAT? They caved near INSTANTLY, barely complaining about the obvious money swap. All they wanted in return was the ability to negotiate. Negotiations like these, what’s to lose? What’s to fear? The only thing you give away is…more negotiations.
Problem is it doesn’t seem to have been a ploy. Oddly, though obviously related to something other than the needs of his state, Walker refuses to…um, negotiate the issue of negotiations. Odder still, his Koch brother masters don’t instruct him to. After all, they’re businessmen. From a business standpoint if Wisconsin is any measure a new era dawns. From a business standpoint if Wisconsin is any measure what’s not to love about labor negotiations? Over in a heartbeat, total cave.
Think of the possibilities, Koch brothers. A few more “negotiations” like these and ALL business taxes could be dumped. Taxes on businessmen as well. Businessmen such as you. Since you’re the ones who create jobs (out of the goodness of your hearts)…and ship them overseas. To make up for the revenue loss, just deduct it from someone’s earnings. State workers for a start. All workers after that. They should be willing to pay your way for the privilege of keeping the job you provided them in this terrible economy they (not you) created. And if the workers won’t agree, just do what your boy Walker did. Just threaten to take away their rights.